What do Wood Pigeons Eat on the Lawn? (How to Get Rid of Them)

By   | Last Updated :   January 27, 2023 | Filed In :   DIY & How To

If you’ve noticed wood pigeons scratching and pecking on your grass, you’re probably wondering what wood pigeons eat on the lawn. 

Wood pigeons are predominantly vegetarian which means they prefer plant matter such as seeds, flowers, leaves and roots.  Read on to learn more about what pigeons eat and how to get rid of them. 

wood pigeons on the lawn

Image credit: @woodywoodpigeon


What do wood pigeons eat?

Wood pigeons enjoy a mainly vegetarian diet. They are well known for being greedy birds that can do extensive damage to crops in the UK. Wood pigeons can often be seen dominating bird feeders in backyards making them a nuisance to bird lovers as well. 

You might also like: 6 bird friendly garden ideas

The most common food items in a wood pigeon’s diet are oats, barley, maize, sprouts and cabbage. They do have an extensive list of food items, however. Some wood pigeon populations are believed to have over 100 different kinds of crops in their diets. 

So, what do wood pigeons eat on the lawn? Wood pigeons are suckers for an easy snack and your lawn is the perfect place to find just that. Lawn owners often seed their lawns in spring and existing grass also produces a large number of seeds every year which will attract seed lovers like wood pigeons. 

Unfortunately, this makes them a nuisance if you’re trying to start a lawn from seed. 

Do pigeons eat grass?

Pigeons will feed on a variety of food items such as grains, seeds, berries, leaves, fruits flowers and root vegetables, but does that include grass blades?

When you see pigeons pecking at the grass on your lawn they may appear to be eating the grass blades, but this is unlikely. 

Pecking at the grass seeds would be their main focus. On rare occasions, you might see them hunting for a variety of invertebrates such as worms, beetles, spiders and slugs on your lawn. This behaviour is very uncommon, however. 

Pigeons are more likely to eat the grass seeds on your lawn than anything else so if you have a pigeon problem while trying to grow a lawn, it might be time to take a stand. Read on to learn how.

do wood pigeons eat grass

Image credit: @_thebirdgirl_


How to stop wood pigeons from eating grass seed

There are a variety of ways to stop birds such as wood pigeons from eating the grass seeds on your lawn. Keep in mind that most of these methods will also repel other garden birds, so if you want a bird-friendly garden, you’ll need to accept that pigeons are part of the deal. 

1. Use shiny hanging objects

bird deterrents

Image credit: @stefslawncare

An eco-friendly way to repel wood pigeons is by using something shiny in your garden. The light reflecting off the object will confuse and scare pigeons, effectively keeping them away. 

You can buy scare tape to hang in your garden, or make your own by using something like old CDs strung together, mirrors or anything else you can find that is shiny yet attractive and hang them around your garden. As the wind blows, these shiny objects will move and reflect light which will keep the birds away. 

2. Use noise deterrents

Another way to naturally keep pigeons away is by making use of noise. You can create your own noise deterrents by simply cutting a 2-litre bottle so it has flaps like a windmill on the side and placing it on a stick on your lawn. As the wind blows, this bottle will rotate and make noise, effectively scaring not only birds but stray cats away as well. 

Alternatively, you can buy noise-generating bird deterrents that use ultrasonic sounds to keep birds away. You will not be able to hear the sound, but the birds will. Lastly, you can use wind chimes to scare any pesky pigeons that dare intrude on your lawn. 

3. Use fake predators

Another way to keep birds such as wood pigeons away is by placing fake predators such as owls, falcons and snakes around your garden. Hungry birds will be reluctant to land in your garden if there’s a predatory bird, reptile or mammal around. 

4. Create a feeding station

pigeon feeding station

Lure pigeons away from your lawn with a bird feeding station. Image credit: @ecojaid


To keep pesky pigeons off your lawn, you might want to install a bird feeder as a distraction. Most birds will go for the easy meal and leave your grass alone. Make sure to install the feeder as far away from your lawn as possible. 

If you have a problem with pigeons pooping on your lawn and patio or destroying your crops, you can use the same methods above to scare them away. 


Do wood pigeons eat mealworms? 

In rare cases, you might see them eating a grub or two, usually when food is scarce.

Do pigeons eat slugs?

Pigeons may occasionally eat invertebrates like slugs, but this behaviour is uncommon. 


Wood pigeons are beautiful birds, but they can also be a nuisance. You can embrace having them in your garden by using a distraction feeder to keep them off your lawn, or you can scare them away completely with reflective tape, noise or other methods mentioned above.

Let me know in the comments below how you’ve dealt with wood pigeons eating your grass seeds. 

Happy gardening!

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